A couple of months ago, Spartacus took the mini Spartacii to Canberra to check out Parliament House. It had been a while since Spartacus had ventured to the land of other people’s milk and honey. The Commonwealth Parliament remains striking for its scale and opulence. Having also visited the US Capitol and the British Parliament it was even more striking.
But watching “our ABC” last night, Spartacus was even more gob smacked as the the scale and profligacy of the enterprise. On ABC last night was Annabell Crabb’s new show The House, a behind the scenes tour. Breathtaking it was.
According to the annual reports of the Departments of the Senate and the House of Representatives, they each receive approximately $21 million per annum of tax dollars. And this probably does not even cover the total cost of running the whole place.
All this to support 150 members of parliament and 76 senators; an average of $185,000 per elected representative.
The symbol of Parliament is an important one, but perhaps a little less gold plating. It’s no wonder these people can’t balance a budget.
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